AFC power rankings: Chargers are better off than fans realize

Los Angeles Chargers v Minnesota Vikings
Los Angeles Chargers v Minnesota Vikings / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages
1 of 5

The Chargers started the season with an 0-2 record and there were a lot of fans that wanted to pack it in. To be fair, if the Bolts would have lost in Week 3 to the Minnesota Vikings then it probably would have created a hole that was too big for the team to dig itself out of.

But that is not what happened as the Chargers head into Week 4 with a 1-2 record. It might not be what fans were expecting heading into the season but when you look around the rest of the league, it becomes clear that the Chargers aren't in that bad of shape.

Yes, a 1-2 record is not ideal when it comes to making the playoffs. But the situation matters and the Chargers aren't actually in a bad situation considering how the rest of the AFC is playing. That is evident in our AFC power rankings (which we broke down into a tier list).

AFC Power Rankings Tier 5: Two Wilsons and a McDaniels

  • 16. Denver Broncos (0-3 record, -53 point differential)

Sean Payton's tenure with the Denver Broncos has not gotten off to the kind of start that fans were hoping for. In just three games the Broncos have lost a close game against an AFC West foe, blew a sizeable lead against a team that many people thought would be bad this season, and became the third team all time (first since 1966) to allow 70 points.

It has been an absolute dumpster fire for the Broncos through three weeks and it has been a joy for Chargers fans to witness. Thankfully, Denver should get some relief in Week 4 as they play the one team that has been worse in the NFL to start the year, the Chicago Bears.

  • 15. Las Vegas Raiders (1-2 record, -32 point differential)

It is hard to rank the Raiders higher than 15th when the only team that they have beaten thus far is the 16th-ranked team in the conference. Vegas narrowly escaped with a win against the Broncos and followed that up with a blowout loss against a good team as well as a not-that-competitive primetime loss against Kenny Pickett and the Steelers.

Vegas only lost that game by five points but the Steelers commanded that entire game. Josh McDaniels is now 7-13 as the head coach of the Raiders and may not last the entire 2023 season.

  • 14. New York Jets (1-2 record, -19 point differential)

The Jets beat the Bills, which should mean something! But when you are committing to Zach Wilson as your quarterback it is really hard to rank you ahead of other teams in the conference. Wilson might be the worst starting quarterback of this century and is the singular reason why New York ranks so low on this list.

The Jets have scored the fewest points in the league, scoring just 20 combined points with Wilson as the team's starting quarterback.